Quicksilver has several common e-mail actions (Compose E-mail, E-mail To…, E-mail Item…) that are described in detail in this section and also mentioned in Files and Folders and Contacts. They are defined in the E-mail Support plugin which is normally hidden but can be seen by -clicking on the All Plugins set in the Plugin preferences.

Quicksilver supports specific e-mail applications via the Apple Mail Module, Gmail Module, Entourage 2004 Module and Mailsmith Module plugins. These plugins should all install the E-mail Support plugin if needed. If the e-mail actions don’t appear in the action pane, check that they are enabled in the Actions preferences. If they aren’t listed at all or the E-mail handler described below doesn’t appear in the Handlers Preferenece, install the Apple Mail Module plugin which will certainly install it.

After installing the plugin for the desired application, set the E-mail handler in Quicksilver’s Handler preferences to the application (e.g., Mail or Entourage).

For basic Quicksilver support of other mail programs, choose “Default”. This uses the system default mail application set in Preferences in the General tab under Default E-mail Reader. This refers to what application handles mailto: URLs.

If a mail message is already being composed and the mail application allows file attachments to be dragged into the message, use Quicksilver to bring up the file quickly and Paste or drag directly from Quicksilver’s first pane into the mail message.

Bring up a contact or e-mail address in the first pane and use the Compose E-mail action to open a new blank e-mail message with the To: field filled out in the mail application specified as the E-mail handler. If the contact has more than one e-mail address, the first one is used. To select a different address, bring up the Contacts contact, type to see a results list of the contact’s information and select the desired e-mail address. This may not work with contact plugins other than the Apple Contacts Module.

The Compose E-mail action opens a new blank message to be filled out, but Quicksilver also has the E-mail Item… and E-mail To… actions which send text and file attachments directly from the command window. Both of these actions have three variants. They are: E-mail Item... (Compose), E-mail Item... (Send), and E-mail Item... (Send Directly), and there are similar ones for E-mail To…. The Compose variant uses the default e-mail client (specified in the E-mail Handler) and opens a message compose window to be filled out. The Send variant also uses the default e-mail client but doesn’t open a window; it sends the mail automatically. Both the Compose and Send variants will start the default e-mail client if it’s not running. The Send Directly variant doesn’t use the default e-mail client to send the message but does so directly from Quicksilver. As a result it’s primary benefit is that the default e-mail client does not need to be running. Note that if the default e-mail client keeps a Sent folder (like does) the outgoing message is not stored there. The Send Directly variant does get the SMTP configuration from the first mail account listed in, so make sure that is setup correctly.

The E-mail Item… actions use a contact or e-mail address in the first pane and a file attachment or text to send in third pane. The E-mail To… actions are the same but entered in reverse; a file or text in the first pane, and a contact or e-mail address in the third. The e-mail address can be selected by typing into a contact or by entering text mode and typing or pasting an address.

If text is being sent it’s used as both the Subject and body of the message. To use a different subject use >> to separate the subject and body using the form “subject>>message body”. If files are being sent, the subject and body are set according to the E-mail Options Preference pane. Use the characters %@ in the template to have them replaced with the name of the file. If more than one file is sent using the comma trick they are replaced with some variation of “# Files in Folder” such as “2 Files on Desktop” or “2 [PDF Document] in Documents”.

The icons for the E-mail actions change based on what mail program is used to send the message. In the previous image, is configured as the E-mail handler so it’s icon is displayed for the E-mail To…(Send) action. In this image, the Quicksilver icon for the E-mail To… (Send Directly) action indicates Quicksilver is sending the mail, not (because that’s what Send Directly does). However there’s a bug in B51, if there is only one mail handler installed, all the mail actions show a generic gear icon. I generated the screenshots in this section by having the Apple Mail Module plugin installed and selected as the handler and by also having the Gmail Module plugin installed, though even this doesn’t always display correctly for me.

The Apple Mail Module plugin installs actions to manipulate Apple Mail mailboxes and messages; including browsing through mailboxes in a results list. It installs a handler to select Apple Mail as the program to handle some mail actions. Note that the actions to send files and text as e-mail are part of another plugin called E-mail Support which is installed automatically when the Apple Mail Module plugin is installed. For the various E-mail To… and E-mail Item… actions to work, make sure that the first mail account listed in the account preferences has its Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP) configured correctly to send mail.

Activate Quicksilver and select Since it’s an application the default action is to open it. Notice there is a > in the results list next to Type and the object pane changes to Inbox and the results list shows all local mailboxes, e.g., Inbox, Sent, and Trash as well as all custom mailboxes. IMAP mailboxes will not appear. To use them in Quicksilver drag them from into the Catalog (e.g., under Custom). They won’t appear after typing into but they are selectable in the object pane.

Even though there is no > next to the mailboxes, typing will move into the mailbox and show a results list of all the messages in that mailbox. The messages are listed in reverse chronological order, i.e., newest messages on top, for easy browsing.

The Apple Mail Module plugin installs three actions for messages: Open, Delete, and Move to Mailbox.... Open shows the message in a it’s own window, Delete moves the message to Mail’s Trash and Move to Mailbox… takes an argument in the third pane to specify the destination mailbox. For a mailbox object, the only Mail action available is Open.

Using the Open action on will open the last mailbox that was open. To easily get to the Inbox, create a trigger, in the first pane select Mail and then type to select the Inbox, then choose Open as the action and bind this to a shortcut. I have I set to this to open my inbox.

There are two actions that are only available if is in the object pane. One is Get New Mail which will get new mail in all accounts. If Mail is not running it will be started. If it is hidden it will still get new mail, but Mail will remain hidden. If there is no new mail, Mail will beep, even if hidden. The other action available on is Open New Mail. It doesn’t get new mail but if there are unread messages it will open a new window to show the message. If there is no new mail it will just beep. As of B51 triggers using these actions can’t be saved. keeps a list of e-mail addresses that have been sent to. The list is viewable by choosing Previous Recipients from the Window menu. Quicksilver’s Apple Mail Module plugin also adds a catalog source under Modules called Recent Mail Addresses that accesses this list. It’s useful to get to e-mail addresses that aren’t in the Contacts or other contact manager.


Quicksilver can’t navigate e-mail in Microsoft’s Entourage but it can send e-mail using the standard e-mail actions: Compose E-mail, E-mail Item…, and E-mail To….

Install the Entourage 2004 Module plugin. In Quicksilver’s Preferences under Handlers choose Microsoft Entourage for E-mail. You may also want to set the default Mail application for the system and in macOS this is counterintuitively set in the General tab of the preferences. At least one person has the e-mail actions working with Entourage 2008 using the Entourage 2004 Module plugin.

To use contacts stored in Entourage see the Entourage section under Contacts.


The only mail support Quicksilver has for Gmail is to use it to send e-mail via the Compose E-mail, E-mail Item…, and E-mail To… actions. To configure this, first install the Apple Mail Module plugin and then install the Gmail Module plugin. As of B51, the Gmail plugin doesn’t install the E-mail Support Module on its own, so that’s why I suggest installing the Apple Mail plugin first. Then in Quicksilver’s Preferences under Handlers choose Gmail Module. Note that the Gmail Module has nothing to do with Google Notifier.

Quicksilver will open the browser on a Gmail compose mail page, with the addresses filled in the To: field and the text “Hi” as both the subject and body of the message. As of version B51 there is no way to send an attachment with Gmail via Quicksilver. There is also no way to read mail via Gmail or browse mailboxes as there is with


The only mail support Quicksilver has for MailSmith is to use it to send e-mail via the Compose E-mail, E-mail Item…, and E-mail To… actions. To configure this, install the MailSmith Module plugin then in Quicksilver’s Preferences under Handlers choose MailSmith.

Other Mail Applications

In Quicksilver’s Preferences under Handlers there is an option “Default”. This refers to the system default mail program which can be set in the Preferences in the General tab under Default E-mail Reader. This sets the Compose E-mail action to use whatever application handles mailto: URLs. TODO: do the E-mail To… and E-mail Item… actions work? Does the comma trick work?


Teleflip is an online service that forwards e-mail messages to United States cell phones as SMS messages. Currently the service is free up to 100 messages a month. Send e-mail to an address of the form filling in the cell phone number. The subject and body are sent, there is a 160 character limit. The Teleflip Module plugin makes it easy to send such messages from Quicksilver by constructing the address from a contact’s phone number. It installs two actions. With a phone number selected as an object use the SMS Text via Teleflip… action to send the text entered in the third pane via Teleflip. The reverse action is SMS via Teleflip…, use it to send text in the first pane to a phone number selected in the third pane.

Note that a phone number object can also treated as text, so the SMS via Teleflip… action appears for phone numbers too. It will send the number as a message which can be convenient if that’s what’s desired. Bring up a phone number, type . to enter text mode and add more text if desired. Since this is probably less common, make sure SMS Text via Teleflip… is above (i.e., ranked higher than) SMS via Teleflip… in the action preferences.